Revealing stable and unstable modes of denoisers through nonlinear eigenvalue analysis

Ester Hait-Fraenkel, Guy Gilboa, Revealing stable and unstable modes of denoisers through nonlinear eigenvalue analysis. J. Vis. Commun. Image Represent. 75: 103041 (2021)

Ester Hait-Fraenkel, Guy Gilboa, arXiv

In this paper, we propose to analyze stable and unstable modes of generic image denoisers through nonlinear eigenvalue analysis. We attempt to find input images for which the output of a black-box denoiser is proportional to the input. We treat this as a nonlinear eigenvalue problem. This has potentially wide implications, since most image processing algorithms can be viewed as generic nonlinear operators. We introduce a generalized nonlinear power-method to solve eigenproblems for such black-box operators. Using this method we reveal stable modes of nonlinear denoisers. These modes are optimal inputs for the denoiser, achieving superior PSNR in noise removal. Analogously to the linear case (low-pass-filter), such stable modes are eigenfunctions corresponding to large eigenvalues, characterized by large piece-wise-smooth structures. We also provide a method to generate the complementary, most unstable modes, which the denoiser suppresses strongly. These modes are textures with small eigenvalues. We validate the method using total-variation (TV) and demonstrate it on the EPLL denoiser (Zoran-Weiss). Finally, we suggest an encryption-decryption application.


Experts with Lower-Bounded Loss Feedback: A Unifying Framework

Eyal Gofer, Guy Gilboa,  arxiv preprint

The most prominent feedback models for the best expert problem are the full information and bandit models. In this work we consider a simple feedback model that generalizes both, where on every round, in addition to a bandit feedback, the adversary provides a lower bound on the loss of each expert. Such lower bounds may be obtained in various scenarios, for instance, in stock trading or in assessing errors of certain measurement devices. For this model we prove optimal regret bounds (up to logarithmic factors) for modified versions of Exp3, generalizing algorithms and bounds both for the bandit and the full-information settings. Our second-order unified regret analysis simulates a two-step loss update and highlights three Hessian or Hessian-like expressions, which map to the full-information regret, bandit regret, and a hybrid of both. Our results intersect with those for bandits with graph-structured feedback, in that both settings can accommodate feedback from an arbitrary subset of experts on each round. However, our model also accommodates partial feedback at the single-expert level, by allowing non-trivial lower bounds on each loss.


Iterative Methods for Computing Eigenvectors of Nonlinear Operators

Guy Gilboa, arXiv preprint 

A chapter to appear in Handbook of Mathematical Models and Algorithms in Computer Vision and Imaging.


In this chapter we are examining several iterative methods for solving nonlinear eigenvalue problems. These arise in variational image-processing, graph partition and classification, nonlinear physics and more. The canonical eigenproblem we solve is $T(u)=\lambda u$, where $T:R^n\to R^n$ is some bounded nonlinear operator. Other variations of eigenvalue problems are also discussed. We present a progression of 5 algorithms, coauthored in recent years by the author and colleagues. Each algorithm attempts to solve a unique problem or to improve the theoretical foundations. The algorithms can be understood as nonlinear PDE’s which converge to an eigenfunction in the continuous time domain. This allows a unique view and understanding of the discrete iterative process. Finally, it is shown how to evaluate numerically the results, along with some examples and insights related to priors of nonlinear denoisers, both classical algorithms and ones based on deep networks.

NeurIPS 2020: Deeply Learned Spectral Total Variation Decomposition

Tamara G. Grossmann, Yury Korolev, Guy Gilboa, Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb, arXiv 2020

Accepted for NeurIPS 2020.

Non-linear spectral decompositions of images based on one-homogeneous functionals such as total variation have gained considerable attention in the last few years. Due to their ability to extract spectral components corresponding to objects of different size and contrast, such decompositions enable filtering, feature transfer, image fusion and other applications. However, obtaining this decomposition involves solving multiple non-smooth optimisation problems and is therefore computationally highly intensive. In this paper, we present a neural network approximation of a non-linear spectral decomposition. We report up to four orders of magnitude (×10,000) speedup in processing of mega-pixel size images, compared to classical GPU implementations. Our proposed network, TVSpecNET, is able to implicitly learn the underlying PDE and, despite being entirely data driven, inherits invariances of the model based transform. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first approach towards learning a non-linear spectral decomposition of images. Not only do we gain a staggering computational advantage, but this approach can also be seen as a step towards studying neural networks that can decompose an image into spectral components defined by a user rather than a handcrafted functional.


Super-Pixel Sampler – a Data-driven Approach for Depth Sampling and Reconstruction

Adam Wolff, Shachar Praisler, Ilya Tcenov and Guy Gilboa, “Super-Pixel Sampler – a Data-driven Approach for Depth Sampling and Reconstruction”, accepted to ICRA (Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation) 2020.


See the video of our mechanical prototype


Depth acquisition, based on active illumination, is essential for autonomous and robotic navigation. LiDARs (Light Detection And Ranging) with mechanical, fixed, sampling templates are commonly used in today’s autonomous vehicles. An emerging technology, based on solid-state depth sensors, with no mechanical parts, allows fast and adaptive scans.

In this paper, we propose an adaptive, image-driven, fast, sampling and reconstruction strategy. First, we formulate a piece-wise planar depth model and estimate its validity for indoor and outdoor scenes. Our model and experiments predict that, in the optimal case, adaptive sampling strategies with about 20-60 piece-wise planar structures can approximate well a depth map. This translates to requiring a single depth sample for every 1200 RGB samples, providing strong motivation to investigate an adaptive framework. We propose a simple, generic, sampling and reconstruction algorithm, based on super-pixels. Our sampling improves grid and random sampling, consistently, for a wide variety of reconstruction methods. We propose an extremely simple and fast reconstruction for our sampler. It achieves state-of-the-art results, compared to complex image-guided depth completion algorithms, reducing the required sampling rate by a factor of 3-4.
A single-pixel depth camera built in our lab illustrates the concept.

Self-Supervised Unconstrained Illumination Invariant Representation

Damian Kaliroff, Guy Gilboa, arXiv

We propose a new and completely data-driven approach for generating an unconstrained illumination invariant representation of images. Our method trains a
neural network with a specialized triplet loss designed to emphasize actual scene
changes while downplaying changes in illumination. For this purpose we use the
BigTime image dataset, which contains static scenes acquired at different times.
We analyze the attributes of our representation, and show that it improves patch
matching and rigid registration over state-of-the-art illumination invariant representations.
We point out that the utility of our method is not restricted to handling
illumination invariance, and that it may be applied for generating representations
which are invariant to general types of nuisance, undesired, image variants.



Energy Dissipating Flows for Solving Nonlinear Eigenpair Problems

Ido Cohen, Guy Gilboa, “Energy dissipating flows for solving nonlinear eigenpair problems”, Journal of Computational Physics 375 (2018), 1138-1158.

This work is concerned with computing nonlinear eigenpairs, which model solitary waves and various other physical phenomena. We aim at solving nonlinear eigenvalue problems of the general form
$T(u)=\lambda Q(u)$. In our setting $T$ is
a variational derivative of a convex functional (such as the Laplacian operator with respect to the Dirichlet energy),
$Q$ is an arbitrary bounded nonlinear operator and $\lambda$ is an unknown (real) eigenvalue.
We introduce a flow that numerically generates an eigenpair solution by its steady state.

Analysis for the general case is performed, showing a monotone decrease in the convex functional throughout the flow.
When $T$ is the Laplacian operator, a complete discretized version is presented and analyzed. We implement our algorithm on \ac{KdV} and \ac{NLS} equations in one and two dimensions.
The proposed approach is very general and can be applied to a large variety of models. Moreover, it is highly robust to noise and to perturbations in the initial conditions, compared to classical Petiashvili-based methods.

Tags:  ,  ,  , 

schematic diagram

Spectral Total-Variation Local Scale Signatures for Image Manipulation and Fusion


We propose a unified framework for isolating, comparing and differentiating objects within an image. We rely on the recently proposed total-variation transform, yielding a continuous, multi-scale, fully edge-preserving, local descriptor, referred to as spectral total-variation local scale signatures. We show and analyze several useful merits of this framework. Signatures are sensitive to size, local contrast and composition of structures; are invariant to translation, rotation, flip and linear illumination changes; and texture signatures are robust to the underlying structures. We prove exact conditions in the 1D case. We propose several applications for this framework: saliency map extraction for fusion of thermal and optical images or for medical imaging, clustering of vein-like features and size-based image manipulation.


Theoretical Analysis of Flows Estimating Eigenfunctions of One-homogeneous Functionals


Jean-Francois Aujol, Guy Gilboa, Nicolas Papadakis, “Theoretical Analysis of Flows Estimating Eigenfunctions of One-homogeneous Functionals”, accepted to SIAM J. on Imaging Sciences.

Nonlinear eigenfunctions, induced by subgradients of one-homogeneous functionals (such as the 1-Laplacian), have shown to be instrumental in segmentation, clustering and image decomposition. We present a class of ows for nding such eigenfunctions, generalizing a method recently suggested by Nossek and Gilboa. We analyze the ows on grids and graphs in the time-continuous and timediscrete settings. For a specic type of ow within this class, we prove convergence of the numerical iterations procedure and prove existence and uniqueness of the time-continuous case. Several toy examples are provided for illustrating the theoretical results, showing how such ows can be used on images and graphs.

Tags:  ,  , 


A Discrete Theory and Efficient Algorithms for Forward-and-Backward Diffusion Filtering

Martin Welk, Joachim Weickert, Guy Gilboa, “A Discrete Theory and Efficient Algorithms for Forward-and-Backward Diffusion Filtering”, preprint.

Image enhancement with forward-and-backward (FAB) diffusion lacks a sound theory and is numerically very challenging due to its diffusivities that are negative within a certain gradient range. In our paper we address both problems. First we establish a comprehensive theory for space-discrete and time-continuous FAB diffusion processes. It requires approximating the gradient magnitude with a nonstandard discretisation. Then we show that this theory carries over to the fully discrete case, when an explicit time discretisation with a fairly restrictive step size limit is applied.
To come up with more efficient algorithms we propose three
accelerated schemes:
(i) an explicit scheme with global time step size adaptation that is
also well-suited for parallel implementations on GPUs,
(ii) a randomised two-pixel scheme that offers optimal adaptivity of
the time step size,
(iii) a deterministic two-pixel scheme which benefits from less restrictive
consistency bounds.
Our experiments demonstrate that these algorithms allow speed-ups by up to three orders of magnitude without compromising stability or introducing visual artifacts.

Tags:  ,  ,